Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) announced that Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 901, thereby eliminating the practice of “voluntary” probation in which youth are placed under probation supervision for behavioral issues, even though they have not committed any crime.
Under “voluntary” probation, tens of thousands of youth, mostly of color, across the state are required to check-in with a probation officer and subjected to conditions that allow for random searches, curfews, surprise home visits, drug tests and interrogations. These are young men and women who have not actually committed a crime, yet they are treated like they are under formal court supervision. Many of them come from families who do not have the resources to hire an attorney, nor do they know their legal rights and, as a result, their parents ultimately feel coerced to have them participate without legal consultation.
“I want to thank Governor Newsom for recognizing the need eliminate a practice that places youth on probation for reasons unrelated to actual crimes, to instead unify resources to help prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system altogether,” said Assemblymember Gipson. “This law ensures that youth are guided toward a pipeline of success, not toward the criminal justice system.”
AB 901 brings current law in line with the new direction of youth development and diversion and allows for referrals to community-based youth development programs instead of probation supervision. It provides a comprehensive, restorative effort to support an alternate vision for youth development and system diversion throughout California – one that recognizes youth by their strengths and promotes meaningful community and school-based interventions to support youth in their development and educational success.